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Letter to the Editor: A call to students from Chico State’s Political Science Society

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Attention Chico State Students,
This letter is not propaganda attempting to persuade you to either vote for or against the
proposed fee increase, but rather a call to action for students at Chico State. Civic engagement
is necessary to ensure that a democratic community or institution makes decisions that are
respected by the masses. Many Chico State students are aware that a fee increase is on the
horizon, yet seemingly much of the student body is either unaware or unwilling to take action on
the proposed fee increase.
Next semester, fees could increase by as much as $190 ($99 for student health
services, $51 for Athletics, and $40 for student learning fees) and this is not a one-time fee
adjustment. Each fee will increase by 5 percent each year until the 2023-2024 school year, which
equates to a potential total increase of over $1,000. It is crucial to note that these fees are
category II fees meaning that they are “fees that must be paid in order to enroll in or attend the
university”. The university will take a percentage of the money from the fee increase and use it
for financial aid for qualified students, but financial aid will not go up proportionally to the
increase.
The administration has not done everything in its power to communicate to students that
a proposed fee increase is approaching, which prevents students from participating in the
conversation. In addition, President Hutchinson has the final decision on whether or not the fee
increase goes into effect and it is not up for a majority vote.
While she has followed the guidelines set in the CSU Chancellor’s Executive Order
1002, the “alternative consultation” process is undemocratic and does not allow students’ voices
to truly be heard. Few student organizations were consulted prior to the announcement of the
proposed increases, and there was not originally going to be an advisory student referendum
vote for students and faculty spoke out and demanded one. Chico State is supposed to
engage in shared governance and while President Hutchinson has subsequently decided to
hold a student referendum, she still ultimately decides whether or not the university will institute
these fee increases.
With that being said, the referendum vote is in less than a week and we as a campus
and as a community must present President Hutchinson with our stances on the proposed fee
the increase, as “the results of the referendum shall be taken into consideration prior to a final
decision.”
The vote opens at 8:00 a.m. on April 25 and closes on April 26 at 8:00 p.m. It can be
accessed online on the university’s website, through your student email, or you can stop by the
Chico State Political Science Society’s table outside of Plumas Hall where we will supply
computers to vote on. Information concerning the fee increases can also be found at
www.csuchico.edu/fee-adjustment, and I strongly urge all of my peers to research the proposed
changes and make the decision that you feel is correct.
College campuses have long been home to political discourse and conversation, and
now we must decide to put down the Burnett’s and pick up the responsibility of civic
engagement.

VOTE AND LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD
Respectfully from the Chico State Political Science Society,
-Anton Holm, Vice President
Stephanie Gerstle, Director of Political Efficacy

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Letter to the Editor: A call to students from Chico State’s Political Science Society